Is Twitter Myspacing?

Twitter space

Twitter arrived on the scene July of 2006. As of 2011 it has more than 200 million users and 1.6 billion tweets per day. It sure has grown. But can Twitter sustain its growth and weather the storm of the web and its own users?

Twitter has a number of powerful benefits including: networking, branding, research and promotion. Yet even with the golden eggs, there are many frustrations, irritations and problems.

 

Twitter has shown signs of Myspace #failure such as:

  • Twitter and Myspace both allow people to be anonymous.
  • To grab attention many profiles are becoming lewd. It’s apparent if you check any “follow back” hashtag such as #ifollowback you see every other profile picture is a scantily dressed woman.
  • Both have had very fast growth. (Crash and trash?)
  • Both allow people to customize their pages. (See images below)
  • Quantity of followers is valued over quality of relationships. The quality of the relationship and communication (purpose of Twitter) can be lost due to the measurable number of followers.
  • Many fake profiles. According to Matt Burns, “…You have Tina Fey, who has publicly acknowledged it’s not her on Twitter, yet her fake account currently has over 216,000 followers.”

As Jeremy Schoemaker wrote, “It’s like someone emailed all •*¨¨*•-:¦:-•*MySpAcE UsErS AnD tOlD ThEm ThEy CaN AnNoy PeOpLe In ReAl TiMe•*¨¨*•-:¦:-•*”

 

 

Twitter has a number of other problems:

  • Many programs are available to automate thousands of Twitter accounts. How many of your followers are bots?
  • Twitter users are subject to large amounts of spammed “bird turd” from followers, direct messages and trending topics.
  • Twitter’s source of revenue is still being tapped. Recently Twitter announced promoted Tweets, advertisements which Twitter described this way: “…tweets may be visible within a user’s timeline if that user follows the advertiser.”
  • Even when following only 500 people there is no way to keep up with the loads of information. Tweet platforms are needed to find relevant information.

With its rapid rise, hype and previously mentioned issues, Twitter could pop the social media marketing bubble like web companies killed the 2001 dotcom era.

 

But Twitter isn’t going away. Even with its annoyances, Twitter should have no problem sustaining its growth (that is unless a better birdy platform comes along). Just as the telegraph was replaced by the telephone because of better service, the demise of Myspace was due to the superior platform of Facebook.

For now, tweet away and feel free to follow me.

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9 Comments

  1. iGoByDoc says

    Great post Nelson… but seems one sided. (Love the graphic though)

    Where are the positives about Twitter? =) With any platform, there are both positives, and negatives. It’s what you do with each platform, and how you decide to make the site the best experience for you that matters… right?

    Why is being anonymous a #Failure? I love it! Some of my favorite accounts I follow I have no idea who is behind them, but they entertain me. That is part of my customized experience I have created for myself on Twitter. I even have a couple anonymous accounts as well (do not use them much) but I like the option. Granted, there are the lewd accounts, and spammers, but I get people following me on Facebook and Google+ doing the same thing. Spammers will find you wherever you are. Side note: Who is stopping someone from creating the fake account for you or anyone else on G+ or Facebook? Nothing… =)

    QTY of followers: Agree with you here, but the people who think that do not understand that just because you have 100K+ followers, does not mean people are listening? Unless the account provides value, chances are no matter how many followers, people may not be listening. Users of Twitter have become smarter, and can see what an obvious fake account looks like. Again, just because they follow you, you don’t have to follow back. But I agree, it is annoying. So many of them are the FollowBack groups that inflate numbers. Spammers are following spammers, just ignore them, block them, or report them. =)

    Unlike Myspace, just because you can create a custom background, at least there is no way to add music (yet – may it never happen, please). But for the serious Twitter user, creating a custom background is important from a branding strategy. Sure you will get moronic backgrounds here and there, but the ability to customize is a good thing. =) Side note: With so many 3rd party apps accessing Twitter via computer or mobile, backgrounds are not being seen as much anyway.

    Breaking through the noise: Agreed, 500 followers are hard to keep up with. Tools like Tweetdeck help tremendously. But you have the same issue with Facebook, and especially Google+. I am getting a huge amount of pure advertising accounts on G+. Spammers will go where the technology takes them… period.

    I have almost 6000 followers on Twitter, and it is impossible to keep up with all, and that is OK by me. So it is imperative to add people to lists etc to keep up with your A List folks, and break everyone else down where needed, if at all, into other lists.

    At the end of the day, Twitter etc is what you make of it, you are the director of your experience you have with them. So focus on the good elements, and enjoy the platform dude.

    Myspace MySchpase

    Doc

    • Dan Richey says

      Great points Doc. I agree with you Doc about having positives of Twitter. Sometimes I love having it be like a scrolling newspaper and what I see, I see, and what I miss, I miss. I do not feel inclined to go back through older tweets to try and catch up on what I missed.

      On the other hand, I agree with you Nelson that as you get more and more followers and more and more you are following on Twitter it becomes increasingly difficult to follow up on what anyone is talking about. I follow almost 2,000 people and my Twitter feed is 1. moving too fast to read, and 2. half of the tweets are JUNK and full of spammy links.

      Great post, gives me info to ponder. I love Twitter, and will continue to use it for now. In addition to that, I just signed up for Google+ and will use that as well. My last departing thought is that… at one point in 2007 I said to myself “I love Myspace, and will continue to use it for now”… and now haven’t touched my account in two years!

  2. Gino Orlandi says

    Any social site is going to have these problems to some degree, even Facebook has its issues, especially when it comes to privacy concerns and abusive apps.

    Twitter got its growth from all the celebs and media latching onto it like crazy. You def don’t see the same media attention like that for Facebook, but Facebook really got the college crowd in a big way, which grew from there.

    So long as the celebs are using Twitter the people will follow, at least until the next hot thing comes out.

    Something new always takes over eventually. Even Google will be replaced one day…well maybe.

    • Nelson Scoville says

      Social sites allow us to follow and interact with celebrities which was nearly impossible even ten years ago. For many people this is very alluring. I mean I am still waiting for Justin Beiber to tweet me back. I’m pretty sure I got the right one of all of the fake accounts out there.

      Google could be replaced someday but a day without Google would be like a day without my cell phone.

  3. Garry says

    All relevant points but; I’m watching to see what changes Twitter makes over the next year – positive change, ie – less spam, not more. And I want to see if their are going to be any changes in their “Marketing Model.”
    My guess is that “Twitter 2015″ will be very different from today, what will these changes be and how will they effect the flock? I don’t know, but I will continue to watch for any patterns that might give clues.
    Ti’ll then, u got 2 deal with what it is – n’ stop dreamin about what u’d like it 2 be.

    • Nelson Scoville says

      I don’t think many people could have predicted today’s technology and the effects it has had even five years ago. Twitter 2015 is something I’m pretty excited for. Who knows what potential if may have. Until then, I agree with you as you put it, “u got 2 deal with what it is.” So like I said feel free to follow me. @Nelsonscoville

  4. Anne Wayman says

    Seems like one of the ‘features’ of the web is constant change… I’d rather not lose twitter but you’re right, it may go the way of myspace and something else will arise.

  5. James says

    I totally agree with you twitter is just starting to become an annoyance and the information seems to be diluted, the funny thing I just read is 65% of twitter users are using it for sports related topics. I wonder if twitter will evolve into something that sports fans use to get information on their favorite team while moving away from their current platform.

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